Month: November 2015

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Let us get back to the future! Confused? Well… all I mean to say is let us get back to those olden days which determined a strong and healthy generation that promised a secured life for their parents and country. ‘Home’ is the first temple of learning. It is the pious place where a newly born infant is taught the value of relationships, respect, responsibility, and duty. Tracing back to those olden days where there was no alternative to seek education other than one’s own home, homeschooling then was a common phenomenon.

Homeschooling is not a new concept, which is evolving now; rather it is an old concept which could not evolve properly and is blooming lately among us.

What exactly is Homeschooling All About?
Answering this question may leave you perturbed for sometime since we accept public schooling as an inevitable norm in our lives. Homeschooling refers to the education provided to children at home usually by parents or guardians instead of public or private schools. It is an option for that parent who chooses to provide their child an education, which is deeply rooted with their chosen social environment, which they believe, is unachievable in schools. The rising graphs do tell us a story about homeschooling, as a burning desire of parents to gain control over the educational bureaucrats and reestablish family as the only option left for child’s education.

Now that you are familiar with the term, there is an ongoing conflict in you mind which is trying to pacify your urge to opt for the same. But wait… before figuring out to reach a final decision let us weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling. If you relate each advantage and disadvantage along with your personal life, you can identify some inevitable benefits and disadvantages.

Pros of Homeschooling

#1 Tightens Family Bonds
Homeschooling not only provides a child with a sense of understanding about the social, cultural, and ethical norms of the family; but also acts as a binding force among the family members. It gives the parents the opportunity to develop a strong bond with the child.

#2 Safe Haven
It provides you an ultra protective shield for your child, which saves him from the filthy activities which may attract your child. Your anxiety about your child’s safety is eased and you are constantly aware of their well-being.

#3 Greater Education
The child can choose the subjects of his choice and gain in depth knowledge in various topics. Such children are not made to cram information and can instead understand the basics of the subject and dwell deeper into the why and how of the issue. The take up education for the sake of knowledge. Today people are judged by their qualification and the number of degrees they hold, however none of these make you any wiser than someone who is truly informed and mentally empowered.

#4 Reduced Mental Torture
You can save your child from the mental harassment he may face at the regular schools where bullying, mocking, humiliation is a common phenomenon. Children need an environment where they can feel free to express themselves away from the peer pressure, which may ruin his personality.

#5 Invest Wisely
By providing your child with a homeschooling environment, you can wisely invest your time as well as your money in your child’s education. You can actually show your child that learning is an exciting activity, which opens up various possibilities.

#6 Leadership Qualities
If taught well, home-schooled children do not need to be told often, when it comes to education. They themselves take the initiative to study, learn, and practice what they have assimilated. However, they must not be over pampered and protected, as that would make these children too dependent. Children are the future leaders of our world, and for becoming a good leader, one need to have the confidence and self sufficiency to prosper and guide others.

#7 Flexibility and Less Tensions
Homeschooling allows the family to make plans and go out for holidays and have more family time with one another, without worrying about pending homework, detention or lack of attendance. It gives the children the opportunity to enjoy their childhood, without getting bogged down by daily commitments, fear of ridicule on not having completed an assignment. It gives children the complete rest they need and not sleep late and get up early in order to catch the school bus on time.

Cons of Homeschooling

#1 Commitment
You have to spend 24 hours a day with your child since the whole responsibility of his education now rests upon your shoulders. However, this need not be true. After the first few years of investing time and energy with your child, you can safely assume that he or she will be able to study on their own and follow the same pattern as taught by you. You can thereafter conduct tests and quizzes to check the knowledge amassed by your child at the end of each week.

#2 Unrecognized Path
You need to justify to your family and friends who may not easily accept the path of homeschooling. Cousins and friends may not be able to associate with the strange lifestyle of your child, nor would your child necessarily accept theirs. This can lead to the child become secluded, shy and inwards. Schools help develop social behavior patterns and it helps the child know the difference between wanted and unwanted people and their company.

#3 Discard Other Responsibilities
As an individual, you owe responsibilities to your elders as well which may take a back seat with your decision to home-school your child, which would absorb most of your time concentrating on your child’s performance.

#4 Unawareness
Sitting back at home inside the four walls of a room may not give you the taste of the edgy competition prevailing outside the walls. There would be no spirit of competition in your child, as he would face none. It can also seem a bit too selfish to deprive your child of the social experience that he or she needs in order to become street smart and adept with today’s times.

#5 Step Out
As a parent, you need to step out of your comfort zone so as to enhance your teaching skills and learn more about effective home teaching methods which is common in our society.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pros-cons-homeschooling.html

How Does Online Homeschooling Work

The tradition of imparting education to children at home has been prevalent in many civilizations. In the modern world, homeschooling, as a concept gained momentum in the 1960s, with libertarian movement gaining significance in the American society. Today, homeschooling is a recognized form of educational option in the US. It has become extremely popular amongst parents and guardians who wish to train and educate their children on their own, in the comforts of home.

Information about Online Homeschooling
To understand the working of online homeschooling, we have to grasp the basics of online education or e-learning. By the power of online education, it has become possible to listen, see and virtually attend lectures without being present physically in the classroom. Online homeschooling is based on similar concepts of designing e-learning study materials for students who can easily access the coursework from their homes. This has become possible after several communities and networks of parents have collaborated together to make homeschooling more professional in its approach. In every city or state, there are social networks of parents who meet on weekly or monthly basis to share their views, insights and growth strategies for making the concept of homeschooling most effective for their children.

Quick Facts about Homeschooling
Homeschooling is gaining popularity as a very flexible form of educational system, without any burden of attending school and spending significant number of hours in a restricted environment. Many teaching styles have become popular in homeschooling. Some parents educate their kids by framing rules, regulations and fixed hours of study, while some use the unconventional path of letting the child learn whenever he or she wants to. Most of the parents choose their own study materials based on their child’s interests. Some use the traditional style of buying school books and teaching children in their own unique style. The diversity in numerous teaching style methodologies in homeschooling is phenomenal, offering it a great flexibility. Some fast facts about this educational form is as follows.

※ It is a wrong belief in society that homeschoolers are commonly students belonging to families of extremists, hippies or religious fanatics. Even regular families are choosing homeschooling for their children. The fact is homeschoolers are normal kids, with same ambitions, goals and objectives in life as the others.

※ In US, homeschooling is legal in all its 50 states, though each state may have their own individual laws. It is also legal in all parts of Canada. You need to find out what applies regarding laws of homeschooling in your state.

※ Besides USA, even Australia, China, Japan, India and many other countries have seen the rise of online forums of like-minded parents who are willing to teach their kids on their own.

※ Homeschooling may cost more or less depending on the way parents choose to train their child. Several studies have indicated that it is cheaper to homeschool kids at elementary school level than it is at high school level.

Working of Online Homeschooling System
There are no secrets to the working of online homeschooling. You will be given a log-in ID, password or access code to visit the website. Every time you visit the website, you can revise the concepts you have learned or you can solve some of your pending work assignments. You will have an individual profile on the website and you will be able to learn topics, practice sums and do all kinds of work related to studies. For this to happen, you must have a high speed Internet connection and a PC or laptop.

Online Homeschooling Curriculum: Broad and Diversified
There is a lot of potential in the homeschooling educational sector. Many websites, dedicated completely to teaching homeschoolers are already in existence and they have specific syllabus and curriculum for helping children to learn concepts easily. Most of these websites have been designed by specialized e-learning companies or have come up after the joint efforts of numerous group of parents who want to make education simpler for their children. It is a fact that understanding intricate concepts with the help of computer graphics, audio and visual tools is easier. Moreover, students find it interesting to learn in a fun way. Online educational websites for elementary and high school students offer courses in broad disciplines of studies, be it maths, physics, chemistry or any other subjects. By introducing well designed, researched test papers and work sheets, e-leaning companies offer best education material to students who wish to avail their facilities online.

Free Online Homeschooling, A Possibility
There are some personal blogs and websites that do give limited or complete information regarding courses for specific classes. There are a lot of homeschooling enthusiasts that have started their own blogs in an attempt to help others who are doing the same. Researching on the Internet can help you to find the same. However, if you want accurate, authentic and excellent study materials, you must register with some e-learning company offering the same services, so that you can study with a fixed plan. When you register with such professional companies, you may have to pay some money as membership fee. So the fact is that with information free on the Internet, you will eventually, come across required information but if you really want to make the most of a curriculum and time, it is good to invest in some good e-learning companies or website dedicated to the same services.

Online homeschooling is a great way to bond with like-minded citizens for improving your child’s prospects. It is certainly a new way to rethink about educational system. It is said that homeschooling students are matured, morally strong and even perform well in colleges. Say whatever, it is a fact that the pros and cons of homeschooling is an ongoing debate that will always find people with two schools of thought – for or against it.

How to Start Homeschooling Your Child

The popularity of homeschooling has seen a phenomenal rise in the last decade or two. There are plenty of attributes that have contributed to this rise. Parents prefer to home-school their kids to keep them away from the peer pressure and stressed atmosphere of the school. Moreover, in a home-school, your child gets single-minded attention, unlike in a public school, where there are at least twenty students in a class. With this form of education, you can keep the child under your supervision and also get to spend more time with him/her. But it also has its own set of drawbacks, that cannot be ignored. The most obvious one being – the child missing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the institution called “school”! The school atmosphere is completely different from the atmosphere at home, and in a school there is more focus on discipline, schedule and team work.

The choice to opt for homeschooling kids depends entirely on the parents. Keep in mind the following – to make the idea work, you will have to compromise your career and completely devote yourself in educating your child/children. Alternatively, you can hire a home-school teacher to educate your kids, but still, you have to be around to make sure that the teacher is doing the job well.

Getting Started with Homeschooling

It is an old concept, that has been popular since a long time. It is a legally approved concept in the United States (the state regulations may differ). As it gained popularity in the United States, the universities also started accepting students from such educational backgrounds. Thus the parents need not worry about the future education of their child and should focus more on designing the study technique and curriculum. To make the program a success, the atmosphere in the house should also be calm and conducive to study. Design the room using various charts and posters and create a fun atmosphere, for the child to study. Make it a point that you use a table and chair for studying, as the posture you keep while studying is also important.

#Step 1: Check the Regulations
Though the process is legal, the state regulations may differ. So, as the first step, do some research and understand the rules and regulations about homeschooling, in your state. Some states are quite liberal and do not even require you to notify the concerned authorities about the decision taken. Semi-Liberal states require you to notify them about the decision they make. The third category is the slightly strict states. The regulations in these states require you to periodically submit, the progress and evaluation report of the kid. And in the states that have the most strict regulations, the parents need to get the designed syllabus approved before they proceed with their decision. Some states that are strict regarding homeschooling require you to get certified for the teaching process, or allow you to keep only certified people as home teachers. The regulations also have mention of the number of days per year you need to teach the kids. Thus, you need to determine under which category your state belongs to and understand the rules thoroughly.

#Step 2: Design the Curriculum
Once you have complied with all the rules, the next important step is designing the syllabus. This is the most crucial step. You have many options to design the homeschooling curriculum. Think and determine what kind of education you want to give your child, and what you want to focus on. For example, for those who want to focus on arts, the arts related subjects should be the major crux of the syllabus. But to develop the all round intelligence of the kid, the curriculum should be a mix of all the subjects. For stricter states, the curriculum needs to be in conjunction with the state education curriculum. There are plenty of choices available for you to choose the right syllabus for your kid. In addition, there are many online packages and books based on grades available.

#Step 3: Plan a Schedule
To instill discipline in your kid from a young age, a balanced routine is very important. Plan your hours fruitfully, allotting appropriate hours to each subject. Monthly and yearly tests are also mandatory and should be a part of the schedule. But to avoid monotony in the process, you have to take efforts. One advantage of homeschooling is, you can be innovative in your way of teaching your kids. You have the freedom to incorporate your own ideas and techniques in the teaching method. You can also change the location of the ‘homeroom’ at your own will, and plan some trip to the park to make learning an interesting process for the kid.

#Step 4: Make it Easy for the Kid
Kids who have been to school and are now home tutored may find it hard to adjust to the new method of teaching. So, as parents you need to make sure that the child is comfortable with the new teaching method. The child might miss his friends – to avoid this make him join a library or a play club. This way the child will be able to socialize, and wouldn’t feel lonely.

Educationalists do not approve of this form of schooling, and believe that it deprives the children from their social life. They are also of the view that parents cannot give their hundred percent as teachers. But, if it is the only option you have, make sure you do it with perfection and dedication. With efforts from both the parents homeschooling can turn out to be a rewarding experience. Good Luck

Reasons Why Homeschooling is Bad

Homeschooling refers to the concept of educating children at home instead of sending them to public or private schools. The concept is not new. Earlier, most children were educated at home because not everyone could afford to send their children to schools. Nowadays, homeschooling has become popular in many countries for various reasons.

Reasons for Homeschooling
One of the prime reasons why some prefer homeschooling is the questionable quality of education in public schools. Also, many prefer educating their children at home due to the costs involved in traditional schooling. Some parents believe that they know their child’s strengths and weaknesses best and hence, are in a better position to teach him. Some prefer it so as to keep their child away from bad company. There are people who opt to educate their children at home because they want them to absorb the morals and values of their family, and follow their religious beliefs. Some parents think that homeschooling helps build stronger family bonds.

It has been observed that homeschooling, when undertaken meticulously has benefited many. However, every coin has two sides and even homeschooling has its share of demerits. Let us look at its negative impact on parents and students.

Parents

Absence of Certified Educational Professionals
A parent may have good educational qualifications, but that does not make him or her a good teacher. Teaching is an art, which requires the ability to understand children’s needs. Parents may find it difficult to adjust to the curriculum. Unlike professional teachers, parents may not be trained to teach, thus making homeschooling difficult for them.

Special Needs May Not be Met
Some children require special learning aids and tutors, and cannot be home-schooled. Lack of proper guidance might impact their education. Similarly, certain subjects require different methods of teaching or certain specialized teaching aids. Homeschooling may not be able to meet these needs of education.

Homeschool Burnout
Many parents may eventually become tired and stressed due to teaching for long hours at a stretch. Parents having to manage work and household responsibilities while also devoting time to the education of their children, may have to follow a very hectic schedule. This may take a toll on their health or hamper their efficiency as teachers. This may lead to a homeschool burnout and cause the parents to temporarily lose interest in teaching.

Shifting Priorities
Parents have to sacrifice a lot in terms of other priorities. Home-schooling children is a full-time job and may not be suitable for parents who want to concentrate on their careers. On choosing to teach children at home, career aspirations of parents might have to take a backseat. It takes a lot of time and dedication from the parents’ side to make homeschooling successful.

High Costs
Though homeschooling may cost less than $1000 per year for parents, inevitable expenses like textbooks, basic stationery, a computer, Internet, educational software, seating arrangement, field and educational trips, audio-visual aids, hobby classes, sports classes, library, legal fees, memberships and newsletters of support groups may also have to be added to the budget. In many states, homeschooling does not receive any kind of financial aid other than making the cost of school supplies tax-deductible.

Social Pressure
Parents who home-school their children may have to face social pressure from proponents of traditional education.
This might lead the parents of homeschoolers to feel discouraged and diffident about their decision. They are oftentimes ridiculed by others for their decision and deemed incapable of educating their children at home. They have to face social flak for preferring homeschooling.

Children

Isolation
Children who are home-schooled may feel lonely, friendless and isolated, especially so if they don’t have siblings. Friendships in school help them learn the importance of sharing and being there for one another. Often, homeschoolers become increasingly dependent on their parents. Being schooled at home, they are isolated from the exposure traditional education gives.

Hindered Development
One of the most critical impacts of homeschooling on children is limited social interaction. In a traditional school, students are exposed to children coming from diverse cultural backgrounds. Homeschooling lacks this aspect, and hence may prove to be detrimental to the development of children’s interpersonal skills. Schools give children, the opportunity to participate in debates, sports and other competitions. They expose children to the real world. In homeschooling, school remains confined to the home, thus limiting the social, emotional and psychological development of children.

Assessment Pressure
Homeschoolers have to take an annual assessment test before proceeding to the next level. In traditional schools, children are given periodic tests, which prepare them for the next level. This may not be the case with homeschooling, thus leading to tremendous mental pressure on children when appearing for the annual assessment exams.

Lack of Competition
Schools prepare children to face the fierce competition that one is exposed to, in real life. However, homeschooling does not give them a chance to compete with other kids. They are also unaware of where they stand among their peers. The competitive spirit that is developed in traditional schooling is more or less absent in a homeschooling environment. This may affect the future lives and careers of children.

Though homeschooling has its benefits, it does not match up to the positive influence of schools on the overall development of children.